January 22, 2018 – Hiring talent has become highly transactional. Tedious candidate searches, endless scheduling and repetitive screening can be inefficient and mind numbing. A new report suggests that it’s time for recruiting to focus on the more gratifying aspects of the job – the human part, the strategic part.
LinkedIn just released its 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report, revealing four big hiring trends that are killing the transaction, making hiring more strategic and allowing recruiters and hiring managers to focus on discovering high-potential talent. The report was authored by Maria Ignatova, thought leadership leader for LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions, and content strategist Kate Reilly.
The trends that LinkedIn identified were based on numerous interviews with experts and a survey of 9,000 talent leaders and hiring managers across the globe. The trends they zeroed in are: diversity; new interviewing tools; data; and artificial intelligence.
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Here are how these trends rank in order of importance, according to talent leaders and hiring managers surveyed by LinkedIn, and how well adopted they are.
- Diversity is the new global mindset
Diversity used to be little more than a box that companies checked off, said the LinkedIn report. But today diversity is directly tied to company culture and financial performance. The study found that 78 percent of companies prioritize diversity to improve culture and 62 percent do so to boost financial performance.
Key forces are at play: Changing demographics are diversifying our communities, and shrinking talent pools for companies that fail to adapt, said the report. Growing evidence that diverse teams are more productive, more innovative and more engaged also makes it hard to ignore.
When it comes to fostering diversity, however, few organizations have cracked the code. Despite all of the buzz, most companies still fall short of their diversity goals and the public’s expectations.
LinkedIn’s data showed that the main reason given for this is that recruiters and hiring managers say they are unable to find enough diverse candidates. Yet this may be a problem of perception – many female engineers and black product managers exist, for example, but companies could be looking in the wrong places. The next biggest challenge is retaining those diverse hires once they get hired.
Despite these obstacles, some companies are making meaningful efforts and achieving results in this area. Three such organizations that LinkedIn identified are Walgreens, Lever and Pandora. Each has its own approach, but some common themes include building diversity, inclusion and belonging from the inside out. This means investing in current employees through supporting employee resource groups and giving them platforms for expression, while at the same time securing strong executive backing.
One company LinkedIn did not look at was Facebook. The social networking giant just hired former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault as its first African American board director. His likely first task: to bring Facebook into the modern age – just three percent of the company’s workers are black, an appallingly low number.
- Reinventing the interview process with new tools that allow you to understand candidates better
Traditional interviews have been shown to be ineffective for reading candidates. They can even undercut the impact of more useful information and introduce more bias. Fifty-six percent of talent professionals said that new interview tools are the top trend affecting how they hire.
Attractive and charismatic interviewees aren’t necessarily more capable, for example, but many people unconsciously assume they are. In LinkedIn’s survey, respondents noted the bias problem in traditional interviews as well as their limited ability to assess soft skills and weaknesses.
LinkedIn’s five techniques are currently available to improve this old model:
- Online soft skills assessments measure traits like teamwork and curiosity and give a more holistic picture of candidates earlier in the process. Citi, for example, has implemented such assessments for its campus recruiting program, producing a greater diversity of candidates and a better understanding of their talents.
- In job auditions, companies pay candidates to perform actual work in order to observe skills in action. Citadel designed day-long job auditions in which about 100 students compete for cash by solving real business problems with data.
- Casual interviews typically take place over a meal and can offer a unique look into a candidate’s character. A famous example is the CEO of Charles Schwab who takes candidates to lunch and asks for the restaurant to intentionally scramble their orders. There are plenty of other examples of companies creatively adapting this concept.
- With virtual reality, companies immerse candidates in simulated 3-D environments to test their skills in a standardized way. Lloyds Banking Group is a front-runner in this aspect and has seen great results when it comes to reducing bias and engaging candidates.
- Video interviews can be recorded or live and help by tapping a broader talent pool in far less time. KPMG Australia is a great example of a company who has implemented them for its entry-level hires and seen increased efficiency.
- Data is the new corporate superpower
Talent acquisition has always been a people profession. But nowadays it’s a numbers profession, too. LinkedIn’s research showed that most recruiters and hiring managers now use data in their work and are even more are likely to use it in the next two years. Fifty percent of hiring managers said that use of data is the top trend impacting how they hire.
Data informing talent decisions is hardly a new concept. But what is new is the volume of data available and the speed with which it can be analyzed, said the report. That data can be used to predict hiring outcomes, not just track them. With artificial intelligence, data can also power machines to help make better recruiting decisions for you.
The most sophisticated companies are piecing together every bit of data they have to try to compete. Just as they might have a social media strategy or an events strategy, they now have a talent intelligence strategy as well.
Aside from helping your company make more strategic decisions about talent, data can also be an effective way to elevate your role as a talent professional, said the LinkedIn report. When everyone else is throwing out opinions about whom to hire, how to hire and where to hire, you can point to the facts. Sixty-nine percent of talent professionals said they believe that using data can boost their careers.
- Artificial Intelligence is becoming your secret workhorse
Everyone talks about but AI, but few companies or professionals understand its impact or what it really means.Thirty-five percent of talent professionals said that AI is the top trend impacting how they hire.
In truth, AI has taken a strong foothold in recruiting and will likely continue to take over some of the more repetitive aspects of your job, said the Global Recruiting Trends report. There is already software, for example, that lets recruiters automate candidate searches and quickly find prospects that match their criteria. Other technology can help to screen candidates before even speaking to them. Chatbots can respond to candidate questions so you don’t have to.
Multiply the effects of these examples and the time savings is tremendous. For the more complex aspects of your job – engaging and interviewing candidates – it’s no surprise that AI is regarded as less helpful.
Based on all this, could a robot do your job? Sure, said the report, well – parts of it anyway. But AI is unlikely to replace you altogether, and there is little concern that it will. Only 14 percent of talent acquisition professionals said they thought that AI would eliminate their jobs, according to the survey.
Here are the skills that are least likely to be replaced by AI:
These four trends are just the beginning of what LinkedIn Talent predicted to be a movement to make the transactional recruiter obsolete. Embracing them is the key to professional survival, said the report. Let AI perform your tedious tasks so you can focus on building relationships. Use new tools in your interview process so you can find top talent faster. Keep your eye on the data so you can make smarter decisions. Lastly, bake diversity into your culture so you can fuel growth, said the LinkedIn report.
Related: Job Market Trends to Watch In 2018
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media